Sunday, 26 April 2015

The Write Way with Louisa Reid

Today, I am pleased to welcome UKYA author, Louisa Reid, on to the blog to answer questions about her new book, Lies Like Love and about her writing habits.
      Can you give me a one line pitch for Lies Like Love, so my readers can get a feel for the story?
‘Lies Like Love’ is both a love story and a horror story; heartbreaking and cruel, it’s the story of one girl’s struggle to be free to love whoever she chooses and to find her sanity against the odds.
Your book deals with depression and self- harming, how did you research these subjects?
I did loads of background reading, which consisted of devouring anything which explored similar themes. Sylvia Plath’s ‘The Bell Jar’ is a classic study in mental illness, and I also read Gillian Flynn’s ‘Sharp Objects’ in which the m/c self harms. Ultimately Audrey’s issues are a result of a very complex set of circumstances and I read a lot of medical journals to learn about the main psychiatric condition I explore in the novel, which I will not name here!
This is your second book to be published. Did you find it harder to write than the first?
Definitely. I felt a pressure to produce something similar in style and theme to ‘Black Heart Blue’, as that’s what the publisher wanted and the readers too, I presume. I also felt really worried about how the book would be received. When I wrote “Black Heart Blue” I had no idea about Twitter or bloggers or Goodreads or reviews. It all got a bit scary!  
Are you a planner or a pantser when it comes to starting a new novel?
I planned ‘Lies Like Love’ very carefully and conscientiously. I think it was a good thing and gave me a clear sense of where the novel was going. I sort of made ‘Black Heart Blue’ up as I went along, but I always had a sense of the novel’s shape and main concerns, as well as who the characters were. The books I’m working on now are planned in my head. I scribble things down on paper when I think of plot twists, but I feel like I have this cloud of story in my head that never really feels right written down as a plan.
Where is your ideal place to write? 
Sitting on the sofa, on my bed, at the kitchen table. Wherever I can get a few minutes peace! 
Do you try and aim for a daily word target when writing?
I try for as much as I can possibly do. I have days when I write nothing at all, other days when I write 5000 words. It depends on how tired I am. Managing a fairly full time teaching job as well as looking after my children/dog/husband and writing is pretty full on.
What gets you motivated enough to sit down and write?
The stories! They bug me until I write them down. When I’m struck by a great idea, I like nothing more than just hammering it out. Of course, once you’re 20,000 words in, then it’s all about staying power and seeing it through. You need discipline then. But I am a finisher. I don’t like to leave stuff undone, it annoys me.
Who are your favourite #UKYA authors? 
I love Teri Terry, I can’t fathom how she comes up with her ideas, they’re so beyond my imaginative capabilities. Keren David, who writes excellent contemps, as does Anne Cassidy. I’ve just started my first Frances Hardinge, which is so beautifully written I am in awe. I love Tanya Byrne and Emma Pass and Kendra Leighton. I’ve always been a fan of Anne Fine and Alan Gibbons. There are just too many to mention -  UKYA is bursting with amazing writing right now. For MG it’s Robin Stevens!
Do you have any advice for unpublished authors on dealing with rejection? 
Let’s be honest first of all and say that rejection hurts. It’s never nice. But if you can, don’t take it personally. Find something positive from the experience, if possible. This is difficult if you’re just getting standard rejections, but if you get any advice, consider yourself lucky and consider it seriously. I got lots of rejections from agents for a paranormal romance I wrote years ago, some of them quite unnecessarily snooty actually, but you have to leave the bitterness behind (as you see I have so successfully done). 
Summary:
LIES
'There were a few problems . . . bullying . . . a fire . . .'
LIKE
I think she's verging on psychosis . . . now she's lashing out.
LOVE
She's got no one else to fight for her.'

Sixteen year-old Audrey just wants to be normal. She's trying to fit in. But what happens when the person closest to you suffocates you with their love? What happens then?

About the Book
Title: Lies Like Love
Author: Louisa Reid
Genre: YA Contemporary
Publisher: Penguin
Format: Paperback
Published: July 3rd 2014

Author Information
 Louisa Reid is a writer and teacher living on the Fen Edge. Her debut novel, BLACK HEART BLUE was published in 2012 by Penguin and was shortlisted for the North East Teen Book Award and longlisted for the Carnegie and Branford Boase awards. Her second novel, LIES LIKE LOVE was published in July 2014 by Penguin.

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Hiya, thanks for stopping by, it is always nice to hear what you have to say, so do leave a comment if you have time.